Night of the Living Dead: It's-Not-Over-Yet Boxing with 'Hawks/Canucks

"You can say fuck, shit, piss. Whatever you want." (Brian Cassella, Chicago Tribune)

If that was the last time we see the Blackhawks on the United Center ice this season, what a way to go out.

Tuesday night’s 7-2 demolishing of Vancouver in Game 4 might have been the most fun I’ve had watching something I couldn’t muster the excitement for all day. For one night – and hopefully not the only night – the ‘Hawks took it too their opponent in a fashion which we’ve all been dying to see.

And it came without Brent Seabrook, who sat out due to the douchebaggery of one Raffi Torres.

Tuesday, the Canucks were the ones missing passes, not staying in position and chasing the entire game. Vancouver was out of its game, and it was extremely pleasant to witness.

Oh, so that Dave Bolland guy came back. Yeah, it took him all of two periods to become the Blackhawks’ leading scorer in the playoffs. His line completely hampered the Sedin Twins defensively, then took it the Canucks offensively as him, Bryan Bickell and Michael Frolik ended up a plus-4.

All three scored a goal, and Bolland and Frolik combined on a couple superb plays. Bolland’s goal was all Frolik’s doing, as he skated into the zone and forced the turnover Bolland cleaned up. Bolland then took the hit to make a beautiful pass, springing Frolik for the breakaway and de-pantsing of Roberto Luongo.

From there, Vancouver did exactly what they’ve been avoiding all series and decided to get chippy rather than play hockey. It’s what we’ve seen the past two postseasons from the Canucks, and it’s amazing how quickly they can get back to their bad habits when the ‘Hawks took it to them. Will it carry over to Game 5? Who knows. But despite holding a 3-1 series lead, it sure seems they were so rattled they couldn’t control their emotions on the ice.

From a team we’ve seen so poised through the first three games, it was shocking Vancouver didn’t just take its beating and stayed within themselves. Instead, the Canucks may have given the Blackhawks even more momentum heading to Vancouver. We’ll see if that’s true or not.

And how nice was it to finally get to Luongo. I respect the hell out of him and think he’s an all-world goaltender, but damn to see that guy skating off the ice with his tail between his legs is an awesome site – more because of what it did for the Blackhawks and the fans, especially.

We’ll see if any of the Canucks fans who have been chiming in on the site use the strained back muscle or whatever it was as an excuse, but if it was that bad then he should have sat. Again, take your beating and move onto Game 5 rather than risk it. Instead, he came out, got lit up, then hit bench with a 6 tattooed on him.

I’m not going to sit here and write the Blackhawks are going to come back and win this series. I still don’t believe it will happen. But a win in Game 5 will get me – and Canucks fans alike – thinking heavily about it.

Tuesday was the Night of the Living Dead. The Blackhawks are staggering, but they’re not gonna give it up that easy.

I’ll just go ahead and discuss the rest in Boxing. Enjoy – even if you’re a Canucks fan.

  • Trevor

    That was a heck of a game played by the Hawks, and it was disappointing for me to see the lack of killer instinct displayed by Vancouver. As far as Luongo goes, Schneider is a very capable goalie so I really believe he SHOULD have sat after he strained a muscle, but it’s not an excuse, just a criticism I have of Vancouver’s decision. Who knows if it would have made any difference anyway. Bottom line is the Hawks played way better tonight and deserved the win.

    The Canucks will get a talking to after this one, and I suspect the bad habits will be gone for Game 5. I hope they show up and show some killer instinct. If not, they could be in trouble. Either way I expect the next 1-3 games to be much more competitive than this one was.

    Kudos to the Hawks for this win. Keep up the good writing. I love the boxing feature, by the way.

  • Johnny Canuck

    Hawks deserved that one for sure. I will also read Jeff’s writing all day. Good work.

  • rich Lindbloom



    Night of the living dead – what a perfect title – I agree with you, it was hard getting real excited in the afternoon thinking about a 3-2 loss, (Two goals by the Sedin’s in the 3rd period of course), and then the obligatory handshake. I thought that might be the highlight of the night – truly one of the greatest traditions in professional sports.

    To me, the play that set the whole tone of the game was not any of the numerous highlight reel goals, it was the #36 cars explosive elbow to Erhoff’s schnaz. It was the quintessential “Not in my kitchen, bitch,” moment. All the frustration of this long season seemed to vanish at that moment. The canucks took all of about 10 seconds to tie it up, but that play got the troops fired up.

    Bottom line is at least one more hawks game this year.

    Truly, Tuesdays game was one of the best Blackhawk games I’ve watched over the last 50 years. Regardless of what transpires over the rest of this series, the Hawks made us quite proud to be wearing the red sweater last night. I did not see this effort coming.

    Thanks for not quiting Blackhawks, last night washed away a lot of the sins of a trying season.

    One game at a time, step by step, inch by inch, slowly we crept…
    Will we win another game – only the Shadow knows because Bartl didn’t channel Toews last night.

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  • Bartl

    Thanks again for the kind words, everyone. It’s much appreciated, as always.

    @Rich – I just didn’t feel overshadowing Bolland’s night and the Canucks’ shortcomings was appropriate with Toews. You can bet, win or lose, it’s coming next game.

    @The Canucks fans – Glad you keep stopping by, and I hope you continue to do so down the road as well. And hopefully you’ll be stopping back for three more games :-)

  • Chicago Irish

    The simple fact is all the Hawks did was win one game; and treat us to the type of play we expect from them. Unfortunately, I’ve seen it too many times (not just the Hawks) where the team down 3-0 wins game 4 in a manner that gets the fans excited…only to get hammered in game 5 ending the series. Don’t take this as though I have a negative mind frame…quite the opposite. We all know the Canucks will come out with a far better effort in game 5…can the Hawks weather the early storm? If so, and squeak out a win, you have to start thinking that Luongo’s confidence gets rattled (even if just a little). I think you all know where I’m heading with this, so I won’t jinx it. I would love to see it happen as would all Hawk fans. The reality is it probably will not happen. I unfortunately see game 5 ending with the Hawks on the short end of a 5-3 defeat(late empty net goal). Either way, and as long as the Hawks are scheduled to play, I will crack open a beer (or several), sit back and watch. If it somehows makes it to game 7 then it will be time to amp up the emotions and hatred (LOL).

    One shift at a time…
    One period at a time…
    One game at a time…
    One beer at time…